We know trained bystanders are the key to survival for cardiac arrest, but some may feel hesitant to provide lifesaving care during the coronavirus pandemic. Under normal circumstances, bystanders aren’t at a significant risk when performing compression-only CPR; however, as detailed by the American Heart Association (AHA) interim guidance, performing chest compressions on a COVID-19 positive person may potentially spread the virus. This can make bystanders less willing to respond out of fear for their own safety. Particularly, if the responder is older, has an underlying medical condition, or has an immunocompromised person in their family.

Bystanders need to understand the risks for contracting COVID-19 when performing CPR. They should weigh the personal risk along with the knowledge that survival rates without CPR are extremely low. The guidelines remain the same during COVID-19: if you’re willing and able to provide CPR or other lifesaving actions, then you should. At minimum, call 911 and get help on the way as soon as possible. If you’re in a public place, consider performing compression-only CPR. You should wear a face mask or cloth covering and gloves if able. You should also use a face mask or cloth covering to cover the victim's mouth and nose. If you have access to an AED, go ahead and use it without hesitation. According to the AHA, the use of an AED doesn’t carry an increased risk of dispersing the coronavirus into the air.

The key takeaway is that CPR is still needed, regardless of whether we’re in a global health crisis or not. All bystanders should be aware of the potential risk and make extra considerations for themselves when responding to emergencies. LEARN CPR!

Approximately 70% of cardiac arrests happen within the home, there’s a good chance that you’ll be responding to a loved one if you’re ever called upon to perform CPR. Amid the coronavirus crisis, if the patient is in your household and has COVID-19, you’ve likely already been exposed to it prior to administering lifesaving care. Additionally, many emergency response systems are experiencing delays due to the current health crisis and other social issues. This only heightens the need for bystander response during emergencies. Now is a great time to learn CPR and be prepared for other emergencies.

Mobile Medic CPR Training offers regularly scheduled classes at their West Sahara Avenue office location. To reserve a seat for one of their regularly scheduled classes, visit www.mobilemediccprtraining.com. They are also MOBILE and able to come to your place of business and provide instruction and certification for your employees or co-workers. To learn more or to schedule a mobile course, email mobilemediccprtraining@gmail.com.

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